Teenager has a headache because a lot of learning

Mental Health And Money Top Reasons Students Consider Dropping Out

Rachael Grealish September 21, 2022

Mental health issues and money worries are among the top reasons students consider dropping out of university according to a recent survey.

Results from a recent survey by Save The Student, published yesterday (September 20), showed a majority of uni students, who took the survey, have considered dropping out of their courses.

The survey also revealed many students had needed to turn to food banks for help and some have even turned to sex work to help make money.

Student mental health major factor in dropping out

According to the survey results, 82% of students had considered dropping out of university – a sharp rise from the previous year when 76% of students said they had thought about dropping out of university at some point.

student girl with eyes closed and head in hands crying

The most common reasons were related to mental health (60%) and money worries (52%).

The number of students who said they had thought about dropping out due to their mental health was down by just one percentage point from the 61% who had said the same in the 2021 survey.

However, the proportion of students who have thought about dropping out due to money worries has risen from 41% in 2021 up to 52% this year – this is seemingly a direct link to the cost of living crisis.

Other reasons stated were loan interest rates (37%), lecturer strikes (18%) and loss of housing (13%).

Students turn to sex work and food banks

3% of students who took the survey said they had undertaken various kinds of sex work while at university and a further 8% said they would consider it if they were in a “cash emergency”. However, the survey did state that they had heard from “some students over the years who talk positively about doing sex work”.

Edinburgh, UK – September 18, 2014: A sign on a residential Edinburgh street for a foodbank, providing emergency food to those in need, run by the Trussel Trust.

With over half the students in the survey saying money worries were their biggest issue, it’s not a shock many have turned to food banks to cope with the cost of living crisis.

In fact, one in ten students said they needed to use a food bank in the 2021/22 academic year.

The Save the Student site blamed the government for “not doing enough” to help students saying: ‘For years, we have been calling on the government to increase loans to ensure students have enough money to get by. It’s upsetting that these calls have been consistently overlooked – particularly now, at a time of such financial difficulty.

‘Having reached a point where one in 10 students need to use a food bank to survive, the government’s lack of action is shameful.

‘We are calling on the government to address this and offer increased funding to help students through the cost of living crisis.

‘At the very least, students should be able to afford essentials like rent, bills and food. But, for too many, that is currently not the case.’

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.